Microsoft and Intel have a long-standing relationship, which grows stronger today with a new collaboration on a seamless artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) experience, from Azure in the cloud to a wide range of high-performance edge devices powered by Intel Movidius vision processing units (VPU). This will deliver a more seamless experience for developers across the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.
Together we are creating an array of AI solutions for the edge that are Azure ready. Optimized for deep learning inferencing, these AI solutions and models will be designed for flexibility and address the specific needs of markets including retail, transportation, medical, industrial, smart cities, and digital safety. To enable this, we will develop an end-to-end software framework that takes advantage of the Azure platform and uniqueness of Intel edge technology, in order to ensure plug-and-play solutions that can be easily deployed into the market. This framework will enable third-party OEM, ODM, and application software ecosystem developers to reduce their time between concept and production. Microsoft and Intel are uniquely positioned to enable this innovation, namely to deliver the choice and versatility which the ecosystem needs to build the edge solutions of tomorrow.
In addition to the edge devices themselves, a key part of the framework is the simplified deep learning developer experience delivered by the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit. This deep learning inference optimization and deployment tool allows developers and customers to deploy AI more rapidly with higher performance, thus enabling seamless end-to-end AI deployments from the cloud to the edge.
As Vice President and GM of Azure Edge Devices, I am thrilled that we are working closely with Intel. They have proven success over the years as a leader in cloud-to-edge architectures and bring deep expertise in AI acceleration and edge silicon solutions. We have a lot of great work underway with Intel, and we are excited for the next stage of our working relationship.
Intel’s Ram Rangarajan, General Manager of Edge AI, expressed his excitement about the new effort: “Businesses today are solving some of their most complex problems by processing data at the edge. Intel is delivering AI at the edge with the versatility, performance and efficiency of our Movidius VPU technology and robust OpenVINO toolkit and ecosystem, and together with Microsoft, we are bringing these technologies to the Azure environment. We look forward to seeing the kinds of amazing solutions customers will deploy with this technology.”